LOUISIANA: Sunday Heart

A year ago, the state of Louisiana tried to kill Willie Francis. The stuttering, roundheaded Negro boy had killed a man in a $4 holdup. But something went wrong with the state's portable electric chair. The current "only tickled" Willie. He got up, the only man on record to walk away from Louisiana's electric chair after the switch had been thrown.

Willie Francis never quite understood all the hubbub that followed—the appeals to the Louisiana courts, the pleas to the State Pardon Board, the sob stories in the press. When he heard that...

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